Let's Get Psyched! Why spiritual integration is vital to mental health

by Randy Kiel | December 18, 2017


My name is Randy Kiel and I am a licensed mental health counselor and psychotherapist in Des Moines. The purpose of the “Let’s Get Psyched” column is to communicate a passion I have for integrating spirituality with mental health. The passion that I am speaking about is a type of pain that we carry inside for the sake of something outside of ourselves. It is a passion for the souls of people.

Psychotherapy, according to its Greek origins, is literally the practice of soul healing. The soul is the psyche and it aches for life deeply within all of us.

Quite often, I work with people who are searching for solutions to problems that they believe to be either emotional or relational when the issues are actually rooted in spiritual matters as well. Our mental health is comprised of a variety of components: mental, emotional, behavioral, relational, and spiritual. The word spiritual has developed many connotations over time. So to clarify, I am neither speaking about talking to the universe in any cosmic manner nor advocating any sense of belonging to a global religion. Spiritual, in this connotation, is the meaning of an awareness of an eternal soul within a body and the knowledge of one’s need for a Savior.

We are meant to give “soul” care to one another and remain aware that we belong to the Soul Giver Himself. To deny the bond between soul and creator would be a form of spiritual abandonment that would have natural adverse effects on a person. I can personally testify about the adverse effects due to the many years I spent away from the Church. It was not until I realized that Christ is the passion of the Church that I was able to come back to the Church. It is now that I live and work as a soul healer, pointing people to the ultimate psychotherapist—the ultimate Soul Healer—the Son of God, Jesus Himself.

It is said that the common age for a woman to begin to develop a sense of personal introspection is 26 and for men, 33. Sorry guys! No wonder we have heard the expression “He just doesn’t get it!” so many times. If we eliminate the element of faith in our mental health, then how would we ever recognize its significance when attempting to address topics such as depression, anxiety, marital issues or let alone thoughts of despair and suicide? We are all prone to these.

We still live in a society that is riddled with personal shame for such struggles; therefore, we often hide and deny the community of Christ a chance to minister to our souls. I pray that these articles will bring comfort to those who carry suffering and give guidance to all who care for souls.

Since, in our humanness, we are prone to occasionally fail as caregivers, let’s join together as we grow in awareness of our soul’s need for care. Let’s get excited for what we’re about to learn and how these articles can further help and educate us. So c’mon, “let’s get psyched!”

Randy Kiel

Randy Kiel is the founder of Kardia Counseling and is a deacon serving at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Des Moines, Iowa. To connect with Deacon Randy, email randy@kardiacounseling.com.